On Love, Politics and the Francophone Culture

Julie Gayet at the Deauville Film Festival via Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

 

Ukraine uprisings: News coverage of events in far-away lands, 2004 vs 2014

 

The pictures coming out of Kiev yesterday (decent galley here) gave me ? and no doubt plenty of others ? a bit of a flashback to November/December 2004?s Orange Revolution.

The riots are in protest against the same president and for the same broad cause ? disagreement over Ukraine?s place in the world, caught between East and West in the no-man?s land on the European fringe, with a history of repeated conquest and occupation, be it by Russians, Nazis, Ottomans, Huns, or (more happily) the good old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The heavyweight guide to Ukraine

Don’t know your Klitschko from your Titushki? Can?t remember which oligarch is which? What or who is a ?Maidan?? With our heavyweight guide, you won?t have to buy the next round?

 

MAIN FOCUS: Kiev negotiations still without result | 24/01/2014

 

The Ukrainian government and opposition failed to reach a breakthrough agreement during several hours of negotiations on Thursday. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko asked the demonstrators in Kiev to be patient, while President Viktor Yanukovych announced a crisis meeting in parliament. Some commentators hold Moscow responsible for the escalatingsituation. Others call on the EU to work with Russia to find a solution.

Q&A: EU?s 2030 climate and energy targets

 

Goals announced will guide future policies that will affect companies and households, but they represent a slight step back from 2020 predecessors

2014 will test Franco-German alliance, analysts predict

Three prominent political analysts spoke with EurActiv.de on the 51th anniversary of the Elysée Treaty, evaluating the Franco-German partnership in 2014 and challenges for the years ahead.

Frank Baasner, director at the Franco-German Institute in Ludwigsburg (Deutsch-Französisches Institut Ludwigsburg), said the time had come for renewed reflection, fifty-one years after the Élysée Treaty was signed (see background).

 

Q&A: Spain?s job market

Why no one expects unemployment to fall below 20% anytime soon, and where government labour reforms fell short

 

Summer is over as Spain adapts to life outside its bank bailout programme

Spain’s first day outside its EU-IMF bank bailout programme started with the publication of the new data on unemployment from the country’s national statistics institute (INE). As we predicted on this blog last year (see here and here), the figures after the end of the summer – when a lot more seasonal jobs are on offer – look less encouraging than in the previous two quarters

Europe and France, the missing link

Searching for information on the upcoming EU elections in France, what little can be found is void of political vision. In fact, Europe is barely mentioned at all.

MAIN FOCUS: Opposition gives Yanukovych an ultimatum | 23/01/2014

 

Following days of violent clashes in Kiev, the Ukrainian opposition has delivered an ultimatum to Viktor Yanukovych. The president must respond to the demonstrators’ demands within 24 hours or they will go on the offensive, Vitali Klitschko announced on Wednesday evening on Independence Square. Commentators urge the conflicting parties to exercise restraint and warn of civil war

 

Amnesty: Europe?s response to Syria is ‘pathetic’

While the Syrian refugee crisis rages, and migration is at the top of the EU?s human rights concerns, Amnesty?s Salil Shetty visited Brussels to call on EU leaders to take action. ?Europe?s pledge of 14,000 places for resettlement and humanitarian admission of Syrian refugees is not a serious one,? Shetty said in an interview with EurActiv.

Salil Shetty has been at the head of Amnesty International as secretary general since 2009. He spoke to EurActiv?s Laurens Cerulus.

You met with presidents Barroso and Van Rompuy, as well as commissioners Reding and Malmström during your visit. Are you satisfied with what was said during these meetings?

France and the European balance of power

 

Hollande holds historic responsibility as the French president who, for lack of political courage, marked the end of the balance that has governed Europe for sixty years. And maybe even for being the gravedigger of the Parti Socialiste and French social democracy.

 

Italy’s Grillo convinced of EU elections win despite voting reform plans

Beppe Grillo, the former comic who leads Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, on Thursday (23 January) hit out against plans to reform the country’s voting rules, describing them as tailor-made to block his party’s rise, but that will not prevent him from winning the European elections, he said.

“The only point of this electoral reform proposal is to block us because we are the danger to the system,” Grillo, whose party won a quarter of the vote at last year’s national election, told a gathering of the foreign press in Rome.

 

Russia accuses EU of ?aggressively promoting? homosexuality

Russia, caught in a pre-Sochi Olympic uproar over gay rights, accuses the European Union in a new report of trying to enforce “an alien view” of homosexuality on other countries.

The accusation is contained in a 153-page “Report on the human rights situation in the European Union”, in which Moscow hits back at human rights criticism it regularly faces from the West by listing what it sees as rights failings in EU nations.

The report, presented in Brussels yesterday (23 January) by Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian foreign ministry’s human rights commissioner, said the EU and its 28 member states saw it as a priority to disseminate their “neo-liberal values as a universal lifestyle for all other members of the international community”.

 

The Enigma of European Defense

While European citizens largely support the establishment of a common security and defense policy, most of Europe?s leaders have demonstrated a clear lack of interest in building one. This paradox is rooted in the irreconcilable approaches to EU security championed by France, the UK, and Germany.

Divisive nationalist actions cannot devaluate democratic Euromaidan

 

Of course radical nationalists do not share the original goal of the Euromaiden protests: bringing Ukraine closer to the EU. But neither do their slogans and attacks invalidate the protests’ value as a manifestation of the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people, writes Volodymyr Kulyk

 

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